A Beginner’s Guide to the Post-Closing Trial Balance

post closing trial balance definition

I have never emailed in response to anything posted online but I feel compelled to do so now. I have been having a hard time learning accounting at an online university. Beyond that, we have access to course mentors but they will not answer questions directly…Instead, they point you to a resource and leave the rest to you.

post closing trial balance definition

A working trial balance provides accountants with a listing of all accounts and their corresponding balances during a specific period. It allows them to compare the total debit balances against the total credit balances, ensuring they match. One must investigate any discrepancies further to identify any errors or inconsistencies before finalizing financial statements for reporting purposes. When preparing financial statements, businesses must ensure the accuracy of their data. A working trial balance is a tool that helps to check arithmetical accuracy in accounting records and verify that total debits match total credits for each account. Preparing an unadjusted trial balance ensures that all accounts have been correctly posted and that the debits equal credits before adjusting entries are recorded.

Types of Working Trial Balance in Accounting

The screenshot presents the post-closing trial balance which includes only permanent accounts from the general ledger. The temporary accounts are absent as they were closed to the Retained Earnings and their balances are equal zero. Making a trial balance is an essential step in the accounting process. A trial balance lists all accounts and their balances from the general ledger, which helps to verify that debits and credits are equal within the system. A working trial balance ensures that all transactions have been included in the accounts, each transaction has been recorded only once, and that debit and credit totals are equal. This process can be done manually or with an accounting software program.

Such uniformity guarantees that there are no unequal debits and credits that have been incorrectly entered during the double entry recording process. However, a trial balance cannot detect bookkeeping errors that are not simple mathematical mistakes. The preparation of the post-closing trial balance is the last step in the accounting cycle. The post-closing trial balance presents the lists of all the accounts whose closing entries are passed and posted in their respective ledger accounts.

Post-Closing Trial Balance Accounts

Accounting is the process of recording, summarizing, and reporting financial transactions to oversight agencies, regulators, and the IRS. Accounting software will generate a post-closing trial balance with a click of the mouse. It is shown as the part of owner’s equity in the liability side of post closing trial balance definition the balance sheet of the company. The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

post closing trial balance definition

It is an essential tool for ensuring accuracy in accounting records. Identifying discrepancies between debits and credits help prevent mistakes from becoming further compounded throughout various periods. As such, one should prepare the working trial balances before closing out entries at the end of an accounting period. It will help ensure that all financial reports are accurate and timely, giving business owners a better understanding of their financial situation.


A trial balance is a worksheet prepared periodically before the final set of financial statements are completed. The trial balance summarizes all accounts and balances the totals in the debit and credit columns. Trial Balance The trial balance is a worksheet on which you list all your general ledger accounts and their debit or credit balance.

A list of all ledger accounts with their respective balances will enable businesses to identify inconsistencies or mistakes. One of the primary purposes of creating this document is to ascertain whether debits equal credits. It ensures accuracy in the double-entry system used for bookkeeping. Accounting entries are always recorded as either debit or credit, and according to the double-entry system, these values must stay in balance for every transaction an entity makes.

Ultimately, it helps businesses and organizations maintain accurate accounting records by ensuring all debits equal credits. The adjusted trial balance is completed after the adjusting entries are completed. This trial balance has the final balances in all the accounts and is used to prepare the financial statements. Unadjusted trial balance – This is prepared after journalizing transactions and posting them to the ledger. Its purpose is to test the equality between debits and credits after the recording phase. The last thing that occurs at the end of the accounting cycle is to prepare a post-closing trial balance.

  • A trial balance is a bookkeeping worksheet in which the balances of all ledgers are compiled into debit and credit account column totals that are equal.
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  • As a result, the ending balance of each ledger account as shown in the trial balance worksheet is the sum of all debits and credits that have been entered to that account based on all related business transactions.
  • The post-closing trial balance presents the lists of all the accounts whose closing entries are passed and posted in their respective ledger accounts.